This is the second time I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo. The last time was in 2014. I didn’t do very well that time. I’m not sure when I gave up, but I think it was long before the 17th November. I didn’t have a child back then though, so I think I made better progress with the word count prior to giving up. According to the NaNoWriMo dashboard, I wrote a total of 17,011 words. Which isn’t that bad all things considered, but having revisited that effort for the first time since 2014, I have discovered that the document in question has a mere 13,586 words. Which is less than I recorded on the NaNoWriMo website. I’m not sure how to explain this anomally. Did I commit NaNoWriMo fraud? I think I recall panicking about my diminishing daily returns and inserting a whole chapter from a previously long-abandoned novel into the 2014 effort, and then removing it once I’d given up the ghost in terms of NaNoWriMo completion
I’ve been far more accepting of my failure to maintain a credible daily word count this time around and so, even though I’m clearly not going to achieve NaNoWriMo nirvana, I will, I think, keep on writing to the bitter end, and should, as a result, have the beginnings of a novel that I want to keep writing in December.
Because I am enjoying this.
And I think my 2021 novel is considerably better than my 2014 effort. Although that was not a high bar by which to judge anything. Long time readers might remember a series of surreal stories I wrote on this very blog about a character called Magic Penguin. That particular series of posts was inspired by some similar stories I wrote back in my student days, mainly as a way to entertain myself (for I had no blog back then). The 2014 NaNoWriMo project was a misguided attempt at trying to write a novel based on that character. It’s probably not all that surprising that I gave up and never went back,
I’m not sure that I’m ready to share any exerpts from my 2021 novel just yet, but I thought it might be fun to share the opening passage of my 2014 ouvre. So here it is:
Professor Elijah Pigwig of the Mawkish University was so named because he was Professor of Banality at the afore-mentioned academic institution and his last name was Pigwig. The name Pigwig had been passed down from his father, the erstwhile Right Honourable Romulus Pigwig of the Council of Sanctimonious Hypocrisy, who in turn had inherited it from his father, Brigadier Trevor Pigwig of the 4th Battalion of Vicious Colonial Bastards. That’s generally how names work.
One might be forgiven, in Elijah Pigwig’s case, for assuming some kind of nickname was at play, not because he looked rather like a pig wearing a wig, though he did possess porcine features and did indeed sport a toupee. Rather, one might have assumed that the name came from the unique nature of his hairpiece, fashioned as it was from the follicles of a mangalitza.
Which is a kind of hairy pig.
Nobody knew why the professor chose to wear a wig made of pig’s hair, but he made no secret of it, and indeed seemed to enjoy the notoriety it brought him.
Back to today’s efforts and I have managed to produce an acceptable, if unspectacular, 560 words. Which brings me up to a grand total of 13,078.